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Answering Your Questions about 2018 Ballot Issues

Oct. 12, 2018
Students hugging their teacher

This fall, voters in our city and state have the opportunity to vote on several important issues affecting our community. We encourage those who are eligible to register to vote in the City and County of Denver.

In the past several months, the Denver Board of Education has passed resolutions in support of Amendment 73, Caring 4 Denver and Prosperity Denver. We encourage you to learn more about the pros and cons of the initiatives in the State Ballot Information Booklet. You can also learn how DPS currently spends the resources we have to ensure Every Child Succeeds.

What is Amendment 73?

Amendment 73 — also known as the Great Schools, Thriving Communities school funding initiative – is on the ballot this fall because of the support of more than a hundred thousand community members, led by a nonprofit K-12 education advocacy group.

If passed, the amendment would increase income taxes on those earning more than $150,000 a year, which would generate about $1.6 billion in additional funding for school districts across the state, including around $150 million for DPS.

Why do we need more money for K-12 education?

In Colorado, families and community members care deeply about providing high-quality education for kids, but our state still ranks 39th in the nation for education funding, spending approximately $2,500 less per pupil than the national average. If passed, Amendment 73 would bring Colorado closer to this national average — providing school districts across the state with the resources they need to fund programs that serve our students and teachers.

How would DPS invest additional funds from Amendment 73?

A community committee, made up of a diverse group of educators, parents and community leaders, came together over several weeks to discuss what DPS’ funding priorities should be if Amendment 73 passes in November. Their recommendations focus on how additional funding could be used to help DPS better serve our students and teachers, such as:

  • increasing teacher pay;
  • supporting higher needs students; and
  • expanding Early Childhood Education opportunities.

What is the Caring 4 Denver initiative?

Caring 4 Denver is a city ballot initiative that asks voters to increase sales taxes in order to fund mental health services.

What programs and services would Caring 4 Denver support?

The Caring 4 Denver initiative will implement programs that aim to decrease suicide rates and drug use amongst young adults and promote youth-centered whole family wellness. If passed, the sales tax increase will generate $45 million per year in funding that will expand access to behavioral health services for children and adults in Denver, including increasing the number of behavioral health professionals and peer support services in our schools.

What is the Prosperity Denver initiative?

Prosperity Denver is a city ballot initiative that asks voters to increase sales taxes in order to fund scholarships for higher education.

What programs and services would Prosperity Denver support?

Prosperity Denver, if passed, will build upon the efforts of the Denver Scholarship Foundation by financially supporting scholarships for students and families seeking higher education. Based on a sliding income scale, scholarships will be available for eligible Denver residents to Colorado-accredited public or nonprofit two- or four-year colleges, universities, community colleges or technical schools.